According to studies, there are around 1000 small and medium-sized companies in Ostrobothnia that are planning either a change of ownership or expansion through acquisitions during the next five years.
“Wedeco’s goal is to find these companies and help them in their financial arrangements,” says Keijo Kangasluoma, the CEO of Wedeco, a private equity company founded in 1987. Wedeco operates mostly in Western Finland with a strong emphasis on Ostrobothnia, which obviously means that these 1000 enterprises are of particular interest.
Wedeco’s ownership favours their regional goals; owners include private investors with an Ostrobothnian background and strong business know-how, locally acting national industry companies, investment organisations, insurance companies, as well as Ostrobothnian municipalities and cities.
In most of the companies mentioned earlier, the owner has no plan on how to continue the business or where to find a new owner. However, there might be skilled management within the company, who are interested in entrepreneurship and ready to take control, but cannot afford it. Keijo Kangasluoma notes that this is a possible scenario where Wedeco can enter as a facilitating partner.
“The management are often the most likely and most potential new owners. However, only few average Joes can afford purchases of this magnitude. If the management wish to become entrepreneurs, Wedeco could be an excellent choice by bringing funding and knowledge on the ground.”
The main challenge is that neither the management nor the owners of the company are normally aware of this possibility, or how to obtain financing through a management buy-in arrangement in general. Wedeco can cooperate with banks, insurance companies and other investors as well as ensure the continuity of the company.
“We are genuinely interested in developing the target companies,” Kangasluoma summarises. “And we always take care of our own.”